This week was a good reminder of the time commitment required to train for a marathon and how difficult it can be to work it into an already busy life. My normally demanding job was more challenging than usual this week. I worked a lot of extra hours, often at odd times. For example, Thursday my work day began at 5:00 AM and ended about 14 hours later. Needing to be in front of a computer during prime running hours, 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM, I had to sneak my 3 miler in midday. By Friday morning I was so wiped out I skipped my planned strength training workout and slept an extra 2 hours. But I did not miss one of my 18 scheduled miles. As stressful as the week was, it may have been a lot worse had I not been running.
Today’s run was 8 miles. That’s a good distance to start practicing the many thing you have to do well in a marathon, in addition to running of course. For example, it is important to eat and drink the right things in the right quantities and at the right times. This morning I ate a Clif Bar and drank a Reliv Now nutrition shake. Both choices were good, but my timing was not. I should have consumed them 2 hours before my run, not 20 minutes. I brought 16 ounces of Gatorade G2 and 2 GU energy gels along for the ride. I forgot to use regular Gatorade, which has more calories and carbs. I could have used the extra fuel. GU is my go-to food for a long run, but I haven’t used it in a while & need to re-learn how to open the packets with sweaty hands and without messing up my pace. I will get better at these things with practice.
Overall today’s run was not a great one. The stress of the work week and the lack of sleep took its toll. I finished 3 minutes ahead of my target time, but that was after running 3 of the 8 miles too fast and 2 of them way too slow due to a bathroom break and stopping twice to walk and get my breathing adjusted. The extra mile (out and back) that brought my total up to 8 was a hilly one and I’m not yet fully acclimated to running hills. On the plus side, I managed to finish strong and my legs are not sore.
The Chicago Marathon is 99 days from today. 99 days, 55 runs, 371.2 miles. I have to keep reminding myself there will be ups and downs, but if I stick to my plan I will be ready come October 8th.
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